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New Port Richey woman arrested again in mail fraud case

Published Mar. 13, 2014

NEW PORT RICHEY — Shelly Johnson was first arrested in early February after deputies say they caught her and her boyfriend stealing personal information from mailboxes and using it to commit fraud.

Some of the stolen mail included checkbooks, credit cards, bank statements and Social Security numbers, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said. She was arrested again last week, accused of cashing stolen checks after her first arrest.

According to Nocco, Johnson and Brian Michael Chipman, 29, of Hammond, Ind., drove past houses in Gulf Harbors in New Port Richey after midnight in a rental car with no plates and the headlights off. When a deputy pulled them over, they found multiple pieces of mail with personal information.

Investigators believe Chipman was looking for debit cards and possibly planning to file fraudulent tax returns. Detectives reported finding the names of at least 11 people in the Tampa Bay area in the mail.

Chipman was charged with various fraud-related offenses, burglary and 13 counts of stolen credit cards on Jan. 29. Johnson bailed out of jail after being charged with tampering with evidence and possession of an ID that didn't belong to her.

In the new case Johnson has been charged with forgery, tampering with evidence and grand theft. She remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Wednesday in lieu of $20,000.